The liver gallbladder is called Yakrit & Pittakosha in Ayurveda.
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The liver detoxifies the blood, manages blood sugar and fats, clears hormones, metabolizes fats and nutrients, supplies the body with antioxidants that reduce inflammation, and performs many more functions.
Fad liver cleanses abound - but very often these damage an already weakened liver. It is critical you know when to strengthen, and when to cleanse the liver. A weak or deficient liver should be strengthened. A congested liver should be cleansed.
Deficient LiverThe liver and kidneys are the organs that "age" us. When your liver is deficient, your blood plasma becomes dry and loses both oiliness and sweetness. A Vata condition, your blood will be thin and lacking in fats, proteins, and sugar. Nourishment to your tendons and blood vessels is curtailed, your joints become stiff, and muscles become spasmodic and numb. A deficient liver can aggravate anxiety & worry. Liver deficiency can also create shakiness and erratic emotions. Most nutrients pass through your body without being assimilated if the liver is weak. In this case your liver should be restored and nourished.
Liver Deficiency in strongest in Autumn. The most likely time of liver deficiency is August through September.
Foods to nourish and restore the liver are
Congested LiverWhen your blood plasma is too rich with sugars, fats, or proteins, your blood becomes thick and the lymphatic system congested. Due to the thickness and richness of blood, your liver and gallbladder (Pittakosha) become congested, a Kapha condition. A congested liver leaves you feeling sluggish, the muscles flabby and lacking in tone, and causes weight gain. Liver congestion creates suppression of emotions.
Liver congestion is most likely in the spring. In early spring the body begins to release winter fat into the blood. The enriched blood becomes thick, causing stagnation and congestion of the liver & gallbladder. Gallbladder attacks are more common in early spring so favor cholagogues at that time in your diet to flush out bile sludge.
You may experience waves of bitterness, discouragement and a sense of failure in February. Try not to take these 'liver emotions' too seriously. Instead, these emotions offer an important cue that the liver needs cleansing in February.
Foods to decongest the liver include
Toxic LiverThe liver is responsible for neutralizing toxicity. With exposure to so many chemicals in the environment, we live in an age where the liver is under attack.
Sources of toxicity and liver stress could be due to environmental toxins, recreational drug use, chronic infection, or fermentation of food in the digestive tract. Common hepatotoxins also include pharmaceuticals, the birth control pill, and many others. Other common toxins include:
The Liver, Inflammation & HeatLiver imbalances tend to create heat and irritability throughout the body. When imbalanced, the liver releases bile salts into the blood, which has an irritating effect on the body and nervous system. Additionally, liver imbalances cause the immune system to become over reactive and produce reactive oxygen species, leading to more inflammation. For these reasons, the liver and gallbladder are considered the home of Pitta dosha. Signs of Pitta aggravation are often the first symptoms of liver imbalance.
When the gallbladder cannot release bile properly, the stools will be light colored or gray. The complete obstruction of bile is a life threatening condition.
Chronic inflammation (hepatitis) of the liver leads to fibrotic changes that cause loss of function, liver degeneration& cirrhosis, and ultimately death. All causes of liver inflammation should be taken seriously.
Food, Lifestyle, and Herbs that Cool the Liver
Liver & EmotionsWhen balanced, the liver regulates the graceful flow of blood physically and emotions mentally. The liver is the most emotionally sensitive organ and its weakness is often connected to emotional instability. The liver, when disturbed, is emotionally reactive and sensitive. It is a proud organ and easily insulted by intensity and imperfection. Pitta drive & discipline often aggravates and exhausts the liver, with the result that Pitta is Ayurveda's most volatile dosha. Pleasant, soothing remedies help calm a distrustful, paranoid liver.
Liver and BloodIn Ayurveda, the liver is said to generate the red part of the blood (rakta dhatu). Yet, western medicine says blood is made in the bone marrow. How can these differences be resolved? Bile components are produced in the liver from broken down red blood cells (a mala or waste product of blood). Some of these bile components are released into the blood, which "heats" up the blood as bile components are generally a bit irritating. When excess, these bile components can also cause some yellow discoloration of the skin, eyes, and teeth, a condition called choleric heat in Greek medicine. This 'heat' can be said to active the blood, and even blood production. Thus, the liver creates rakta.
In this process, the liver and spleen have a functional relationship. The spleen is said to store red blood cells, and can be compared metaphorically to a "sack of rubies." The liver, on the other hand, regulates blood sugar and sugar storage, and can be compared to a "sack of potatoes." This is why the liver gets fatty when the diet is rich.
To recap, the liver creates heat in blood plasma (rasa) which is yellow in color. This heat stimulates rakta, which is red in color. The spleen is pure rakta. The function of rakta is to supply oxygen to all the cells, which keeps metabolism strong, as a fire burning brightly.
ConclusionThe liver is called the liver because it is essential for living. Your ability to assess and maintain liver health is essential to your well-being.
Herbal Actions Affecting Liver Gallbladder
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DISCLAIMER: The pathogenesis of each person's condition is unique, and so the diet must be fit to the individual and the unique root causes of the condition in your body. The information on this page is for educational purposes only and should not be used to treat a medical condition. It is not a substitute for medical care. Please check with your doctor before making any changes to your health and wellness routine.
HOW AYURVEDA WORKSARE YOU WONDERING HOW AYURVEDA CAN HELP YOU?
WHY IS AYURVEDA THE RIGHT SOLUTION?Ayurveda strengthens the body while opposing disorders. It takes a holistic, systemic approach that looks at the whole body. Ayurveda shows how to interpret signs and symptoms of imbalance, and how to address them using diet, lifestyle adjustments, and herbs. It shows a person how to optimize their health on a continual basis. You can't take the doctor home with you, but you can take Ayurveda home with you. Ayurveda is the most advanced and easy to use home system for self healing.
HOW DOES AYURVEDA WORK?Ayurveda starts by identifying your body type, which identifies certain tendencies in your body to get sick (as well as identifying your strengths). It uses body type to determine the likely root causes of your disorders. Next, Ayurveda analyzes the nature of your disorder. It fits all your signs and symptoms into a pattern, expressed as a combination of biocharaceristics (gunas). For example, you may have a heat disorder, a cold disorder, or an oily disorder, etc. This simple categorical approach shows you how to correct systemic imbalances and strengthen your body as a whole.
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